NASCAR driver Kyle Larson is highly in favor of tearing down Texas Motor Speedway and replacing it with a new short track
Texas Motor Speedway was born in 1997 as a 1.5-mile intermediate oval. It’s hosted the NASCAR Cup Series and Indycar Series along the way and both racing series remain on the schedule.
In 2017, the track underwent a reprave as well as a slight reconfiguration. Banking in turns 1 and 2 was reduced from 24 to just 20 degrees. A the same time, the width of that corner increased from 60 to 80 feet.
Just a few months ago, Auto Club Speedway announced plans for their last race on the 2-mile oval. That facility is set to become a short track if the proposed plans are finalized.
Auto Club Speedway set for final race on 2-mile oval
Atlanta Motor Speedway is another property, like Texas, owned by Speedway Motorports LLC. The Atlanta facility debuted with a brand new repave for 2022. They went a totally different route, increasing the banking as well as narrowing the track. Additionally, NASCAR used a superspeedway style rules package to create a hybrid Daytona or Talladega style of racing, the first of it’s kind for a 1.5-mile track.
Atlanta Motor Speedway: New vs Old track by passing data
Rumors are circulating that Texas Motor Speedway could see another repave. Despite the last one just five years prior. And many of those rumors hint that Texas Motor Speedway could adopt a similar repave to Atlanta.
However, the drivers aren’t interested in that. Specifically, Kyle Larson, who wants a short track…
Kyle Larson votes for demolishing Texas Motor Speedway
“It needs more than a repave,” Kyle Larson stated from the Texas Motor Speedway media center.
“I would like them to demolish this place, first. Then, start over from scratch.”
“For one, they did a very poor job, with the initial reconfiguration. I would like to see them change it from a mile-and-a-half to something shorter, I don’t know if that means bringing the backstretch in or whatever.”
“I mean, if I could build a track, it would probably by a 3/4-mile Bristol, basically. Pavement, progressive banking and all that.”
Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile concrete oval. It was previously paved in asphalt but has been a concrete surface since a repave in 1992.
Larson concluded, “But, I don’t know if that’s really possible, here. I’m not sure what they have in mind but anything would be better than what they did.”
NASCAR drivers talk ‘disconnect’ and ‘broken system’ with Atlanta repave
Limits at Texas
The complex build of Texas Motor Speedway has placed a bit of a box in regards to reconfiguration options. Buildings surround the speedway, everything from grandstands, a party tower, a campground and a condo tower. All of those things are placed at the outer edge of the racing surface.
The buildings specifically make it extremely costly to shorten the track. Any repave would likely have to come close to all of those buildings, or the buildings would now longer have a great view of the racing surface.
The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs will continue this weekend in Fort Worth. Texas Motor Speedway is set to host the first race in the Round of 12.
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